Nine years ago this week, my husband and I married.
Yesterday, I pulled “Wise Counsel” off my book shelf, which is the letters of John Newton to John Ryland. There are many of Newton’s letter collections out there, but the reason I loved this one is because it covers Newton’s communication to Ryland over several decades and you follow the men’s lives and get to know each of them through Newton’s writing.
The book is packed with so much beauty and wisdom, but there was a specific bit I wanted to revisit with my anniversary this week. It’s Newton congratulating Ryland and his wife on their fifth anniversary and then offering a brief reflection on his on marriage and God’s presence in it.
“I congratulate you and Mrs Ryland on the return of your wedding day; five years are elapsed with you. The 12th of next month will commence our thirty-six. A long-time in prospect, but short upon review, except I consult my memory and my books, and examine it by piecemeal. Then I perceive it must have required many years, to pass through so many turns and changes in life and connections as we have seen. We have reason to say, ‘Mercy and goodness have followed, accompanied and surrounded us all the way.’ I should tremble to have some parts of the path, to travel over again; and yet my lot upon the whole seems to have been peculiarly favoured.
Our setting out in wedded life was something like that of an adventurous mariner, who should put to sea without either pilot or compass. We knew and thought but little of the Lord, but he thought of us, his plan was exceedingly different from that we had formed for ourselves, but it gradually opened upon us, and hitherto he has helped us.
What is before us we know not, but he knows it all, and I am enabled in some measure to cast the care upon him. May he be your guide and guard likewise. I trust he will. He has given you a heart to care for his concerns, and he will care for yours.”
We know not what is before me/us in these next years of marriage, but he knows it all. Mercy and goodness have indeed followed, accompanied and surrounded us all the way these first nine years, and may they continue to do so.
Happy nine years! Almost double digits. 🤍